An 18th century mosque and gravestones in the adjoining cemetery have been vandalised in the village of Kruszyniany, north east Poland. The incident apparently occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning, just after Polish Tatars began observing Ramadan on Saturday.
The culprit sprayed a vast pig onto the side of the mosque, which is one of Poland’s oldest Muslim houses of worship still used by the country’s Tatar community.
“It’s a very regrettable thing – incomprehensible,” said Kruszyniany’s Muslim community leader Bronislaw Talkowski. He stressed that the Tatars live in harmony with their neighbours, and that the act of vandalism is unprecedented.
A patriotic symbol used during the Nazi German occupation of World War II, the so-called Kotwica (Anchor), was also sprayed onto the mosque, as well as on some gravestones. Composed of the letters p and w, the anchor stands for Polska Walczaca (Fighting Poland).
It is estimated that there are between 3000 and 5000 Tatars living in Poland today. Owing to assimilation over the centuries, many Poles have Tatar backgrounds. The late Nobel Prize-winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz had Tatar roots, as does internationally renowned sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz.